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Maison Margiela SS24: Galliano’s Homage to Martin Margiela

Hugh Barton

Right from the get-go, the Maison Margiela SS24 runway gushed with historical nods, ranging from the models’ infamous swagger and slouch to the unique cinematic elements of Galliano's 2022 theatrical masterpiece, ‘Cinema Inferno’. The runway itself, a long steel strip covered in plastic, was dramatically unveiled by employees dressed in Margiela’s signature white lab coats, recalling the dramatic markings from Fall 1990. These whispers of the past were not incidental; they stood as a tribute to Martin Margiela’s unmatched legacy.

The ‘co-ed’ collection began with black coats in blown-up proportions (comparable to the oversized collection in Fall 2000) and eccentric collars in sculptural white cotton from Spring 1993. Galliano's theatrics and drama were rendered with silk gauze, wire, cotton and plastic materials. Dressed in lamp-shade-shaped crochet fascinators, deconstructed calico and laminated tops, models threw themselves down the runway, arms on hips and shoulders hunched, as if Margiela's Spring 1997 characters had been modernised and unleashed.

There was a pervasive sense of deconstruction and revival. Basting stitches and pattern-making notes from Fall 1997 were exposed on garments; inside-out tops in Fall 2004 were remodelled and appliqued with underarm gussets; Spring 2001 esque tops made from found vintage garments were paired with ruffled skirts with oversized bows; torn-off dresses with their bodices hanging over their hips exposed their lining. Galliano kept Margiela’s tradition of revealing the journey of an outfit intact, highlighting how perfection lies in the process, not the product.

Galliano’s attention to detail was exquisite. Off-the-shoulder tops and dresses with twisted necklines and drapes and creases laminated in plastic recall the plastic bag dress from Fall 1992, a technique Galliano now coins ‘pressage’. Oversized white labels seen in Fall 2004 were slapped on the back of the hand of the model as a feature. These were more than fashion statements; they were manifestations of historical moments, much like the sticky-taped tops from Fall 1989, the down-filled coats from Fall 1999 and, of course, the iconic extra-sleeve trenches from Fall 2002 (or Balenciaga's opening look this year).

Shoe and accessory enthusiasts had their fair share to feast on. The linen ‘shoe within a shoe’, with its distinct slingback strap, evoked memories of Spring 1996 and bags fabricated in a dot print and shrouded in tulle reminiscent of Fall 2006. Not to mention the deconstructed heels with repurposed petticoat lace, white hand-painted woven straw picnic bags and split-toe tabi’s in raw cut brogue and Mary-Jane styles paired with knee-high socks with bows.

Beyond the theatrics and historical nods, the collection triumphs for its wearability and elegance. One thing was clear: Galliano was here to make a statement, and he did, unapologetically loud and shrewdly clear.

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SEE ISSUE #06 HERE. The theme for this issue, Revelations, delves into the unfiltered aspects of life. It’s an appreciation and exploration of raw beauty, where authenticity reigns supreme; the unconventional is not just accepted but celebrated. In a world of manufactured perfection, this issue chooses to validate our quirks and idiosyncrasies. After all, they are what make us inimitable.

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